Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is an empirically supported treatment for children between the ages of two and seven with disruptive behaviors and their parents. PCIT gives equal attention to the parent-child relationship and to parents’ behavior management skills. The goals of the program are to enhance parent-child interactions, improve child behavior, and empower parents to use consistent, predictable, effective parenting strategies in an outpatient setting.
PCIT places emphasis on improving the quality of the parent-child relationship and changing parent-child interaction patterns. In this therapy program, parents are taught specific skills to improve the “playful” relationship with their child while increasing their child’s prosocial behavior and in turn decreasing negative behavior.
This treatment focuses on two basic interactions: